Margaret Howell studied Fine Art and graduated from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 1969. Margaret Howell began her career making accessories and selling them to London shops, however, the turning point was when she discovered a vintage mans shirt which inspired her to make her own designs.
In 1970 Margaret Howell established a design studio and workroom making men’s shirts from start to finish, quickly attracting a loyal clientele who appreciated the quality fabrics and attention to design detail.The shirts were sold internationally in US and France and encouraged by Joseph Ettedgui, Margaret Howell opened her first menswear shop in 1977 on South Molton Street in partnership with Joseph.
By 1980 Margaret Howell had launched a women’s collection, based on the same design principles and tailoring she applied to her menswear. Nominated by Grace Coddington for Designer of the Year in 1984, Margaret Howell was one of the first wave of British designers to find success in Japan during the early 1980’s.
Margaret Howell has a personal interest in architecture and product design and is a keen supporter of British modernist design. Recent design collaborations have resulted in the reissue of classic British furniture and product designs from the 1950’s and 60’s, providing the opportunity for a new generation of design aware consumers to appreciate and value the quality of British manufacturing and craftsmanship. Collaborations have included Ercol and Ernest Race furniture, Anglepoise lighting and Robert Welch tableware.
In 2007 Margaret Howell was awarded the CBE for services to the fashion retail industry and appointed a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) by the RSA in recognition of her achievements in fashion design.